Festive lull, but it's not over till the fat man sings yo-ho-ho
THAT end-of-year feeling descended on the JSE a little earlier than usual as volume dropped.
Dealers are looking forward only to their holidays, and few expect fireworks between now and January. Yet the last time this sort of inertia set in was in 1992, when the market soared during the Christmas period.
The all-share index picked up a net 26 points to 5 757; the biggest daily move was under one percentage point either way.
Overseas markets were firm, but the JSE was apathetic towards a cut in US interest rates.
Most new listings made reasonable debuts: tiny EC-Hold, issued at 100c, more than trebled in size to 340c for a gross worth of R88-million. Coronet, pitched at 130c, closed at 149c on thin trade. Maxtec, issued at 100c, closed at 140c. But Dectronic, floated out of the Legacy stable at 50c, closed at 37c.
The JSE bade good riddance to Northfields, Gazgold, Knights, Primrose, Celtron and Awande, and warned 15 shells or dormant companies to use or lose their listings.
Educor paid R225-million for the Kelly group of which R90-million was settled in shares at 730c, then shed 51c to 690c.
It was the turn of defence stocks to tick up after the Cabinet's decision to spend R29-billion on military hardware. Reunert added 105c to 840c on talk of a deal; it was 370c in September and R12 in April. Spescom, tipped as the predator, picked up 50c to R12.50. Grintek gained a net 38c or 54% to 108c after going higher.
CCHold gave up more than R2 to R25.20 after announcing R40-million worth of acquisitions to buy out minorities in subsidiaries from management.
Paradigm slipped 15c to 435c on suspended negotiations with Log-Tek, whose good results helped it add 10c to 650c. Brainware spiked at 150c, but came back to 83c for a net loss of 27c. It is a speculator's favourite.
Unihold announced renegotiated terms for its takeover of Atio, too late to stop the share price shedding 45c to 330c.
Rainbow's earnings recovery had been discounted by the market, and it eased 3c to 27c.
Super Group's takeout of the Chariot business surprised no one; both shares dropping. Super Group gave up 120c to R10.60 and Chariot 23c to 270c.
First SA Food bought SA Lifestyle for R75-million, settled in shares at 260c, and aims to change its name to First Lifestyle. The share price gave up 35c to 260c.
Forward Corporation sold Gentyre, shed 5c to 420c and proposed a name change to Waco International. Last week's new listing, Whetstone, put on 50c to 240c on a cautionary.
Last year's high-flier, Afribrand, edged 4c higher to 88c; it has hardly recovered from its 70c low on talk that the merger with Armato was less than smooth, with key staff leaving. Afribrand was 325c in March.
Esic was untraded but the double was 59c to 80c, after the R5-million cash purchase of 36 shops from SA Breweries.
Julie Walker Top of page